BIBFRAME Events proposal for BIBFRAME 2.0

Posting to Bibframe

First, I agree with Martynas, with reservations.

There is already schema:Event, dbpedia:Event and a whole Event ontology (actually just one of them): >

This has been instructive.

It is still important to know the current rules. In LODE, event is defined as:
“Definition: “Something that happened,” as might be reported in a news article or explained by a historian.
An event consists of some temporal and spatial boundaries subjectively imposed on the flux of reality or imagination, that we wish to treat as an entity for the purposes of making statements about it. In particular, we may wish to make statements that relate people, places, or things to an event.
Note that, unlike some definitions of “event,” this definition does not specify that an event involves a change of state, nor does it attempt to distinguish events from processes or states.”

Event in DCMI is defined as: “Metadata for an event provides descriptive information that is the basis for discovery of the purpose, location, duration, and responsible agents associated with an event. Examples include an exhibition, webcast, conference, workshop, open day, performance, battle, trial, wedding, tea party, conflagration.” (

There is another event ontology at with a definition of: “Event – An arbitrary classification of a space/time region, by a cognitive agent. An event may have actively participating agents, passive factors, products, and a location in space/time.” This seems to be primarily for “human-inspired events”, especially music performances.

In, event is defined as: “An event happening at a certain time and location, such as a concert, lecture, or festival. Ticketing information may be added via the ‘offers’ property. Repeated events may be structured as separate Event objects.”

The rules for current cataloging practice are in two places. The first, is general and procedural in nature. The more substantive rules are at

What distinguishes cataloging practice is that they divide events into those that can be authors and those that cannot, e.g. the explosion of Krakatoa involved no people and cannot author anything. WWII, although it involved a lot of people and a lot of organization, also cannot author anything, but both are still events. When it comes to festivals, exhibitions, tournaments and similar human-gettogethers, these are actually special types of corporate bodies and it becomes more difficult to determine whether they can author something. The cataloging rules above provide those guidelines and please trust me: it can get very complicated.

Therefore, from this short overview, one of the main problems is how the different communities define an “event”.

It seems that Bibframe is supposed to be for those webmasters out there who are making all of these wonderful new tools and who are just chomping at the bit to get the data that is locked inside our bibliographic records so that they can add our data to their tools. Right now, there is such a range of definitions for event that I don’t know how a web master could ever create anything coherent, especially adding how it has been used in library catalogs (which is much more complex than the other methods). As Martynas asked, is the solution to make a whole new ontology? Making a whole new one just means that the IT folks will have to sort it out later.

That does not seem to be a solution.



One Comment

  1. Ron Murray said:

    We must all appreciate, ruefully, the number of “event” models originating from a number of well-motivated sources. Unfortunately, this proliferation is a predictable outcome of a (meta)data modeling process that starts in “midair” – structured according to some technical person or group’s comparatively narrow point of view.

    Now we get to experience the familiar library and W3C worlds’ version of “he said/she said,” where each group argues for their version without reference to larger explanatory frameworks where the concept of an “event” is most critical: Physics & Psychology. When we step outside of our offices and take a look in the libraries we work in/near/for, we discover that the conceptual framework for an “event” has been discussed in significant and useful detail. See, for example:

    From well-rooted –> conceptual models logical data models — of the type they always do – often with much looser conceptual underpinnings. A XML/RDF/BIBFRAME metadata maven does not need to guess at – or worse – not consider whether events are can be structured into subevents – or more generally, segments.

    They can and they should – if they want their metadata structures to parallel how people (acting as psychologists and physicists) detect and reason about the world. It’s as easy as pie – model that particular aspect of an event with logical data modeling tools at hand and insert the citation (e.g., Radvansky & Zacks 2015 p. 29-31) as justification foe the technical decision. Parties wanting more information or wanting to fight it out can engage the supporting literature and scholars/researchers.

    We can then cultivate limpid pools of idiosyncrasy in areas where conceptual variety is beneficial and welcome.

    February 22, 2016

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